Last updated: 21.03.13

E-learning in Edinburgh schools kicks off with tablet rollout

Schools in Edinburgh have been exploring the opportunities offered by online learning thanks to a project that has seen tablets rolled out to classrooms across the city.Pupils studying at Broomhouse Primary, Sciennes Primary, Forrester High and Gracemount have been presented with their own netbooks or tablets as part of a programme introducing the benefits of digital education, which, if successful, could be launched elsewhere in Scotland, STV reports.Young people are using the technology to solve algebraic solutions and read about ancient worlds, while the devices also allow them to share ideas and test their knowledge.Maths teacher at Forrester High Barry Whelan told the news provider the school has been using a secure system that allows its employees to post homework online, so that students can access it on their tablets at home. He said it also means work can be submitted for marking quickly and easily.Text alerts are also sent once an essay or piece of homework has been uploaded and Mr Whelan explained: "Most kids use it quite well and I can get back to them quickly and send them video links or extra resources to guide them."According to the teacher, having tablets in the classroom has helped him to build a supportive relationship with pupils and there have been lots of positive results from having the devices. "Some of the apps we've been using have really helped to engage pupils who've perhaps been struggling," he continued.All four of the schools involved in the project boast their own online blog and digital workshops that individuals can use to discuss ideas that have worked well and share their pros and cons of the tablets.It was recently claimed by head of the E-Learning Foundation Valerie Thompson that English children could be missing out on opportunities to benefit from e-learning resources due to the fact their schools are not equipped with good enough Wi-Fi.All learning institutions and businesses should have a steady internet connection in place so their students or staff can access virtual tools, which are often more engaging than traditional training methods and can be accessed in an individual's spare time.